Trial begins for German policeman accused of 'cannibal' killing
A German police officer went on trial yesterday accused of murdering a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists so he could make a grisly pornographic home video.
In a macabre case that has captured global attention, prosecutors said Detlev Guenzel, 56, killed Polish-born Wojciech Stempniewicz, 59, at his home last November "to get sexual stimulation", then cut his body into small pieces and buried them in his garden.
Guenzel has retracted his confession to police that he killed him by cutting his throat.
An autopsy found the cause of death was asphyxiation.
Guenzel's defence team has claimed Stempniewicz had long expressed a death wish, and hanged himself in Guenzel's custom-designed "S&M studio" in his cellar, before Guenzel dismembered his body.
Guenzel faces 15 years in jail if convicted of murder and "disturbing the peace of the dead".
The men came across each other in October 2013 on a website for slaughter and cannibalism fantasies billed as "the number one site for exotic meat". However, investigators said there was no evidence the suspect ate any part of the dead man.
Chief prosecutor Andreas Feron said that a graphic, 50-minute video would be presented during the trial - due to last until November - which showed the blood-soaked Guenzel saying, as he mutilated the corpse, "I never thought I would sink so low".
However, Guenzel's defence lawyer Endrik Wilhelm, said the recording proved that Stempniewicz had committed suicide by hanging himself.